15731/Read between the lines

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Read between the lines
Date of Scene: 22 October 2023
Location: Lucifer's Penthouse, Melville
Synopsis: From rare autobiographic notes, lost antiquity scripts to comparative cultural similarities, enlightenment and a mind block in the devil's head. Sounds like a job for the Phantasm and co.
Cast of Characters: Sinister, Lucifer, Phantasm (Drago)

Sinister has posed:
It's a bright fall day outside. Therefore, with the weather being brisk, but not frigid, the balcony of Lux has become an inviting little tropical island with tiki torches and an umbrella stand. You know, because the October sun is SO very bright... It's set just a little ways back, but provides just enougu block that it's possible to read a screen or a book without the glare.

The smell of luao bbq is an inviting thing, no doubt brought in or rather, a hawaian chappy with a set of tongs and a suckling pig showed up earlier to actually do the cooking and left once the tempting tastes had been set in their burners and left to be enjoyed.

Sin is wearing dark sunglasses, dressed casually with a black polo neck and comfortable slacks, reading whilst sipping a Bahama Mama through a swirly straw, his laptop set aside as he reads... the Mahabarat? It sure looks like that, considering the Indian artwork on some of the pages. A chunk of baked sweet potato, browned off to make the edges crispy, is ferried to his lips.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer follows the scents of suckled pig, tasty side dishes, and all the flavors of a luau under the roof. He's wearing even more casual clothing by way of denim jeans, a tee shirt that reads 'Hell is Just a Sauna', and his toon devil slippers. Making his way over to the balcony where the windows are half open and the balcony door is ajar making it easy to shift and lean against the door jam and glance over and down at the lounging man sipping a drink and munching on baked sweet potato.

"Was there a party and I missed it?" Asking this casually as he then shifts to walk forward, looking over all the offerings aside from the pig and tries to determine if he wishes a plate of food for himself or not. A look over one last itme when he notices what it is that Nathaniel is reading which causes a singular brow to loft upwards.

"Trying to find healthy ways to rid your life of evil doings?" Asking this with a grin as he settles on, yes. A plate of pig, baked sweet potato, a few grilled pineapples, and beans. "Unless I've missed the plot on that book...it's been a long while since I read it..." And surely Nathaniel found it in the small library in the living room.
Sinister has posed:
He did indeed. Old illustrated copies from the days when they were hand-scribed and illustrated are a long way in the past -- some things get lost in translation over time, word of mouth, even transcription just shifts meaning a tiny bit, here and there. "Actually reading more of the historic vedic teachings, not the life-lessons. Kismet aside, I've found some interesting bits and bobs, particularly with the illustrations..." holding the book out, it depicts one of the plates of Rama and Sita, where during a war, there'd been a rain of fire in the sky, dutifully illustrated.

"There's quite a few cosmic mishaps in the Mahabarat. I'm still waiting on copies of the old sanscrit writings of the pakistani peoples, they're often relegated to the 'waiting list' on library permissions. Not many of them, I think, have survived."

He looks up, smiles crookedly at the plate of food and snaffles another sweet potato. "As to the BBQ, I just felt like reminding that summer will be back, eventually."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer glances to the illustration depicted on the page that Nathaniel is reading and he gives a little smirk. "Are you wondering which side of us rained fire from the sky, or are you not taking it as literally as that?" Asking because it could be one, the other, or neither. There are many reasons as to why Lucifer keeps certain copies of texts in his home. The different tellings of the same story for one, the never-seen-by-human-eyes are his best finds. Hard to really nab those - for obvious reasons. Either way.

"Copies? I'm guessing it's near impossible to obtain the actual literature...hidden in some museum somewhere and only certain people are allowed full access to them?" Course, he could pull strings if he really wanted to, but what's the fun in that when he can just watch Nathaniel wait on pins and needles. "Do you want me to attempt to expedite you on the waiting list?"

He settles then, in a lounge chair next to Nathaniel of course and begins by ripping the pork he snagged in twain and popping a sizeable portion into his mouth to chew. Succulent, juicy... there's nothing quite like a fully suckled swine.
Sinister has posed:
Add to that, have it slow baked in hot sand for half a day and it's just supreme.

"You assume I haven't already done some expedition work," Sinister grins. "It'll be here next week, I want to view the original, that was the earliest I could lean on. British archives have an original, they have to get it properly humidex'd and packed for transport. I shall have to go and view it in the clean room at the Manhattan institute."

Glancing over at the page, he tilts his head left, then right slowly. "If you have some actual insight on whether that was divine, infernal or completely natural, I'd be keen to know, actually. I've been comparing some historic notes from various sources in the indian sub-continent, for the last few days, to see if there's matching timeline documents. Some seem to match up to other rains of fire in Europe. I'm assuming they recorded meteor showers."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer ah's and then nods his head. "Of course you would have already done such things and gotten it all set up. And with your memory...and skilles...I bet we'll have something akin to a copy on the shelves of our library soon after you get home." Lucifer quips with a chuckle, and of course he's not complaining...but he's not quite joking either. He seriously believes that most of what he just said is true.

Another bite is beans and then a third is the sweet potato before he's cutting up some of the grilled pineapple and spearing it with some of the pig on his fork. "They weren't too devestating... at least not to the planet as a whole. But if memory serves me, there -was- a naturally ocurring meteor shower where a few dozen or so got a little too friendly with the Earth's gravitational pull and wound up raining from the skies..." He offers this. "I don't think either myself or the Heavens were too preturbed by anything going on in that time..."
Sinister has posed:
"Good to know, good to know." Sinister grins at the observation, but no comment is made on it. Sometimes the lack of a response is as good as the actual one, right? "We've that less fanciful historian who recorded the last known Apophis starfall already. You see, I've been wondering if any other astrological nations have done the same. I did find references in Islam, but I think we need older copies of the Quran. There's probably similar things in the Torrah, but they're more religiosity related--" and a gesture to the Mahabarat. "Thus, a culture that's historically -know- for reading the stars and heavens."

Taking a little pork and pineapple for himself, Sinister stretches his legs out. "I think I'm on to something here. I feel like I'm on the verge of a major discovery."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer seems to think on this a moment and then nods his head. "It's a good plan and point of focus. Likely are plenty of things written by those who studied the stars well before our current knowings of what happened up there." He motions towards the sky and then chuckles. "I can try and find something in some texts you might not think to look through. Different diaries and musings that I have copies of. The never before read by another type things.." And he grins then.

"Oh? The lightbulb over your head beginning to flicker to life a bit? Care to share or are you waiting for the actual breakthrough to know that you're right before shouting Eureka to the heavens?"
Sinister has posed:
"Well..." Sinister carefully takes back the Mahabarat and with the attention it deserves, skillfully 'slices' into the spot he was looking for with a fingernail suddenly long and slender. For page-turning on a delicate tome.

It references the birth of Brahma's pain and anger at the world, where he screamed 'Rakhsha!' to the skies and birthed the vedic Demons with is cry of 'help me!' -- all standard stuff, part of the paradigm and all that jazz. But he points with his elongated fingernail, to the 'eruption' of the demons from Brahma's scream. The illustrator has made the falling Rakhshaza look like tiny stones flying out all over the place and the look is uncannily like the 'pummice' like and oval Apophis stones.

"If you can, it might be a very clever idea to see if we can take a look at other hand-writ copies of the Mahabarat and other sanscrit scripts from that region. Compare and contrast. But it's so... tantalizing."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer watches and looks when Nathaniel points and he looks over the image slowly. A nod of his head as if in agreement with an observation that goes unspoken. "Uncanny..." Is finally spoken and then he sits back a bit. "I can definitely peruse the library for texts that can help, sure." Though he's apparently intent on finishing his food first as he makes no quick motion to get up and do just that in a right now fashion.

"So if we keep finding these...almost random but also not random...accounts of these stones coming to Earth..." He begins, as if he's starting to also put the pieces together. "Is that tied to the Apophis meteor somehow? Like it's not just on a trajectory path to here but... answering a call?"
Sinister has posed:
"Well, I came to that observation completely by accident, it's one of those things that happens to me from time to time. Serendipity. I was just looking at whether there's a place to begin a hunt for the modern cult and bing badda boom." Sin looks sidelong to Luci, reaches for his Bahama mama for a sip and another sweet potato bite.

"And then when I saw it, I wanted confirmation, relative compatability in the timelines to cosmic events and... it got me thinking about the quantum entanglement. All essence of that energy IS the same energy, so... triangulation points."
Lucifer has posed:
"Everything is interconnected and the points actually matter?" Lucifer offers, slightly making a bad joke based off an 'old' television show. "It makes sense. I mean, we could trace all the samples we have back to the meteor... I guess the only real question at this point is who the hell is calling it back this time? The cultists? Some other person who doesn't know any better? A random ritualist?" He says all this while finishing up the food on his plate and realizes he hasn't got a drink to help wash everything down.

So he tries to telepathically yoink Sin's drink to himself for a sip.
Sinister has posed:
Oddly enough there's no protest from the drink. Or the man that was sipping from it. Tropical fruit and rum, with delicious additions. Cocktails, the indulgence often had by the Doctor.

"That's the question. I feel I should suggest that X-force go and have a look, but I'd need to have somewhere to point them at, before I did so, else it'd be as fruitless as trying to catch wild waterfowl whilst blindfolded."

Another morcel of pork and pineapple later... "Maybe it's a self-fullfilling prophecy. Maybe it's calling itself back, who knows?"
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer takes a few sips of the fruity cocktail before floating it back over to Nathaniel. Not quite his drink of choice but it was handy as he needed to whet his whistle a bit. "Right. Find the possible target first, then send out the people... otherwise it doesn't work and becomes a wild goose chase." Which is just what Nathaniel said. Reworded.

Brilliant, Luci.

"Maybe... we won't know until we find more answers than we find more questions.." He thinks for a moment and then takes a breath. "How about a trip to the seaside this weekend? Been a while. We should go visit the community."
Sinister has posed:
"Ohh, that's an idea. It's lobster season in the atlantic at the moment, which means there'll inevitably be a lobster bake out there." Sin smiles at that notion. "It's been a while -- You suppose the garden looks alright still? I don't know if it's not gone a bit wild with being free of attention all summer." He chuckles at that.

Leaving the topic of questions that expand and multiply, well alone.

"You got a hankering to being social there, or something?"
Lucifer has posed:
"I got a hankering for doing something outside our normal for a bit. Never a dull moment with us, but I feel it would be nice to go check up on some of our other properties that we've sort of... let go." Lucifer says this with a chuckle. "I think the garden will have been okay. I've had someone go and keep an eye on it and the cat that's been kept there..." Speaking of cats... there's one loose in the Penthouse that hasn't gotten ANY attention lately and seems to be fine with it.
Sinister has posed:
Aah yes, Raven. Where IS that little lady?

"That was the one we brought over from England, wasn't it? My propery in wiltshire. Did we... actually give her a name?" That little tuxedo barn cat that had been hiding in the wood pile.

"We could argue that piddling about with properties -is- our normal." There's a wink to go along with that though. "Conneticut harvest season though, deserves a drive-through. You never know, we might spot something odd in a garage sale from one of the east coast old towns."
Lucifer has posed:
"I don't think we did... cause she was just going to be a barn cat. Probably could just call her barn cat..." Lucifer jokes with a chuckle. "But yeah...I could accept the argument that piddling with properties is part of our normal.." This much more as he finishes his plate and stands, waddling in Toon Devil slippers back into the house to not only put his plate away but likely grab something more his taste to drink.

"Want anything from inside, love?"
Sinister has posed:
"No, I'm golden, thank you though..." leaning over to his laptop, Sin keys a few keys, then just touches the edge of the machine, watching the information scroll past in rapid fire. He sips on his cocktail whilst the devil garners his libations, frowning faintly at the data.

One screen, involving a local news report from somewhere in Russia, gets him stopping, reading and smiling grimly to himself. From the pictures, several people died in a lab accident.
Lucifer has posed:
Nathaniel may say that he's golden, but Lucifer is always up to something when he asks the other man if he wants anything. A lovely dinner like that needs to be followed with something equally wonderful for dessert and somehow, some way, Lucifer has gotten all the ingredients together for the dessert he has in his mind.

So he's in the penthouse for a good twenty minutes or so before finally emerging back onto the balcony holding two tall sundae-style glasses filled to the brim with what the British have dubbed an Eton Mess. From recollection, Lucifer remembers that Nathaniel had a fondness for them and so he presents one to his lover fair. Though he does catch the screen that speaks of a lab accident in Russia. "Those wouldn't be a whole mess of your not-so-nice clones, would it?"
Sinister has posed:
"Could be, could be," replied in a mildly singsong'd tone, Sin sips again, only to find that his drink is finished, going cross-eyed at the straw. He then comes to realize the Eton mess that's been supplied, smiles for it and inclines his head to the Archangel of sponteneous cookery. "Muchly appreciate, my dearling..." the long spoon is selected, deliving deep into the layers to come up with the tasty treats.

"Something went wrong in the biological containment protocols. Can't imagine what it might have been, but it locked out the entry codes, then incinerated the interior. Terrible tragedy."
Lucifer has posed:
"Yes. How tragic indeed. We should mourn their passing for five seconds and then move on." Lucifer offers, walking around Nathaniel and his screens to take a seat again. "Also, you're welcome. I figured you would appreciate a nice treat from home...ish. I still need to come up with more things that you like so it's not always kippers and toast, and Eton Messes... but.. I'm getting there." He smiles.

"So that's one down in Russia... how many more to go? And is this a part of you finding a new path for yourself that's not all necessarily.." He pauses and then exaggerates the word, "Evil?"
Sinister has posed:
"I think Evil is a relative term anyway -- but yes. More or less. I don't want to be looking over my shoulder wondering when I'm going to attack myself again. Exerting proper control over myself and all that." Nathaniel pauses, thinking about that. "You know, anyone /else/ saying such a thing would be a spot of soul searching and meditation exercizes. It takes on a whole OTHER meaning when you add Essex into the mix, ne?"


"I'm still devising the strategy there. One can't go repeating onself, it's all about out-thinking and out-smarting the enemy. And when that enemy is yourself, well, you have to be absolutely on point, don't you?"

Another spoon of the ice-cream occurs. "You do know that you already do plenty, right? Don't think that you've been insufficient in culinary turn-ons."
Lucifer has posed:
"It is a relative term. I can agree to that because people claim that I am Evil. And while I do things sometimes that skirt the line, and I have no issue torturing those who deserve it. That's the catch. I'm only evil. Mean. An asshat... to those who deserve it. Others? I'm a gentleman, and no one can argue differently." Lucifer lays that one with a grin.

"Only you can outsmart you, and you do a very good job of it. And I can see how you would have to do it differently each time so you cannot predict yourself. And all of that ONLY makes sense for YOU, Doctor Essex..." He chuckles then.

There's a pause afterwards and the Devil actually flushes a bit. "Sometimes I don't think I do nearly enough for you. I can never thank you enough for all the things you've done for me... for my life here... and it's likely things you don't even realize you've done. But I have. And it will likely take me all eternity to thank you for it."
Sinister has posed:
"Yes. Indeed, that." Glancing back into the penthouse through the crack in the door, Sinister closes his eyes with a slow deep inhale. Elsewhere, alcohol bottles pour themselves in various ways, are shaken over rocks to chill them and shortly, a Mai tai floats out, to carry on with the cocktail theme, though never the same twice. Smiling at it, he takes a fresh sip, sighs satisfied and sets it to sweat its condensation along the glass.

"As to what I've done, I am genuinely rather clueless, I'm afraid. I've caused strife, kept an obsessive neatness, dragged you off all over the place and generally just been myself, with a few hang-ups and hiccups that needed straightening out. We're both works in progress there, my love. Truly, you do /plenty/." Another book floats out, this one a book that looks modern. Babylonian rubbings and photographs of bass reliefs from surviving archaeological sites.
Lucifer has posed:
"You've grounded me. Made me realize that happiness doesn't just come from the pleasures of many, but can come from the pleasure of one. Given me what I never thought I was worthy of. And that's just the things I can list off the top of my head right now. Sure, we've had our battles, but that just comes with being in a relationship, yes?" Lucifer offers at least this before watching Nathaniel sip his new cocktail and gives a bit of a smile.
Sinister has posed:
"Yes. You know, that took me more than a logical amount of time to figure out myself. A lifetime, in fact -- relationships and personable interactions, the art of compromise..." Sin sets the book between them, motioning once over it to get the pages turning in casual time, so they can both view the images in reasonable moments of time passage. The pages keep flipping on their own.

"Really, you've taught me a lot, also. Mostly about what -really- matters and that sort of thing." Ahem. "I pride myself in you making me a better man."
Lucifer has posed:
"We helped each other become better versions of ourselves. Which sounds cliche and sappy but... there's some truth in that mindset." Is the Devil's commentary on the matter as he continues to enjoy his ice cream, berries and meraingue concoction. "I cannot fathom that I would have found this life from anyone else. It was always you...it will always be you." He smiles then.

"And now that the sappiness is here, we should will it away with...something...heh..." And here is where Nathaniel offers they share in reading a book, so he scooches himself closer for them to read together.
Sinister has posed:
"In hindsight, everything that has happened does make sense. A kind of perfect sense, which leads no conclusions but that we are inherently compatible." Winking, there's a reach of his nearest hand, the sinister one, to rest the fingertips lightly on the back of Luci's own, spidering their way in a fingerwalk to the palm side, to lace and hold.

Contentment follows, with drinks and more nibbles to follow, relaxed.

Unfortunately for them, though much has survived of palaces and freises, very much of it is classic myth depiction, gods and monsters, not much in the way of the Writing on the Wall. Pretty pictures though. Perhaps there's something?
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer seems to think a moment and then turns to look towards the library through the windows of the balcony. He wiggles his fingers and pulls a couple of books out from the shelves, floating them out to the balcony with them.

"I have the journal of Galileo... Leonardo da Vinci... Oh.. here's one from Ptolemy...he was an Ancient Egyptian astronomer...it's called The Almagest." He offers these three choices but waits to see if there's any one of the three that Nathaniel seems to b more keen in looking through.
Sinister has posed:
"Oh, my." Sin's eyes lit up at the first time, for absolute certain. But then: "Nope, nope! For the sake of not going all tangential and distracted by fascinating material entirely unrelated to the topic..." he indicates the book of Ptolemy.

"Matches our culprit's origins. The other two will be engrossing in totally different ways." Sin squeezes interlaced fingers, offering a smile and a lift of the clasped hands, to kiss knuckles. "Why do I have a feeling that technically speaking, you probably have a library of Lucifer somewhere? It would be large enough to rival the NYC annex on the history museum, by now."

Never having read it, he carefully starts the pages turning with his mind again, looking on.
Lucifer has posed:
"Well I pulled the other two due to some slight ties to the other area, but yes. I remembered I had the Almagest... and it might prove to have some useful information there..." Offering this as he watches Nathaniel get very excited over all three options put before him.

The Almagest has many wonderful things within it. Several of them beyond the thoughts of that day. Of course, a few other items did have to be tossed out when proven false or even slightly incorrect but after a bit of flipping there is one story.

It was a time of conflict in Ancient Egypt. The Upper and Lower sides having been going at it, trying to find common ground, and perhaps even ownership over different areas of the Nile. At some point Ptolemy made notes of objects getting closer and closer in the night skies, and then suddenly there was a rain of fire that caused an even bigger clash of the Egyptians. But the description of these falling objects match that of the Apophis Stone.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister halted the progression of page turning at the beginnings of the story. He leans forward, re-reading the passage from start to finish. "The conflict between the two kingdoms. We finally have a time officially speaking, for the birth of the cult. Three thousand one hundred before Christ. Oh dear." Essex leans back, strokes his chin thoughtfully and cups his mouth shut, holding his jaw for a couple.

"My dear, that's a long time ago and unless we manage to uncover secrets in the sands, it might be troublesome getting any frame of reference from anything recorded." He looks to Lucifer, then the text and back.

"Why do I feel like once again, conversations with powerful beings ought be had?"
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer stares at the book for a lingering moment. "All this time I had this in the house and never thought, with all our talks about where this cult and such may have originated, to bring it out before now." It could have saved them a lot of headaches for sure.

"What are you thinking? That we go down to Egypt, talk to one of their Temple Leaders and try to gain audience with... who... Osiris? Bast? Anubis?" Asking this in a semi-serious fashion.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister shakes his head gently, looking, nay... staring at the text. They have a timeframe. Which makes things -easier- if still a monumental task. "Thoth," the god of wisdom. "Or any acolyte that has the stones to treat with us." He looks thoughtfully along the page again, then up. "You know, that can probably be achieved in almost any museum worth its salt, that has a decent Egyptian col'..." pause "...balls. Erm. Sorry."

He doesn't colour, but he does look somewhat sheepish. "Possibly... I am having a bad idea."
Lucifer has posed:
"Thoth. That makes sense. I thought he was the God of Death? Some think it's Anubis but he's the Judge..." Lucifer thinks this through for a moment and then shrugs. Death begets Wisdom. Or something like that. He continues to listen as Nathaniel speaks, and then blinks when he sort of derails his thoughts entirely.

"No idea of yours has ever really turned out to be a BAD one. What's on your mind?"
Sinister has posed:
"Osiris is the god of Death. He, the undead eternal Pharoah of Khem..." Sinister murmurs that in a half-murmur, rather quietly and absently. He's then clicking his fingers several times as if trying to attract the attention of the thought, and/or his tongue to put it to words.

"If we know the impact site and we know the time frame, is it possible to ask... the dead? That's my thought. Echos of the negative plane."
Lucifer has posed:
"It very well could be possible... but it's also a bit... sticky. There's a few ways to do it, but honestly the easiest would be to go to Egypt. We'd have to do some asking around... but... as long as we find crypts? Graves? Something... where the bodies were buried. Makes it easier for me to bring them back for questioning..."

Which also makes him think that he might just have to still seek out a Priest of Thoth or Osiris. Just because. Messing with those under the reign of another deity is usually frowned upon without their permission.
Sinister has posed:
"I might have some of Threnody's DNA somewhere. I think I do, but I would have to sift the archives." Sinister muses. "Would also assist there," -- he nods though, smiling at length and once more bringing knuckles to his lips to kiss them.

"A direction always feels like you're making progress, even if ultimately it ends up being the wrong direction. I feel as if this is a step forward though."
Lucifer has posed:
"Definitely feels like a step in the right direction. That we're finally getting somewhere. Breaking through the cracks. And any other metaphor you can come up with..." Lucifer chuckles, smiling at the kisses to his knuckles and offers the same in turn. Twice. Cause he needs to catch up.

"I don't mind any of the options. We can get to Egypt easily enough... I have a pass at talking to the Gods..." He pauses. "I have a strange feeling I've talked to one or two before... I'm nearly sure of it... but every time I try to remember and I feel like the memory is just there, it disappears again."
Sinister has posed:
Sinister arches an eyebrow. "You definitely talked to Sutekh. That is Set in the greek. I wonder if you did convey messenges to a couple of others..." he eyes the devil sidelong though, then with the other eye. Setting his drink aside, he reaches out, brushes imaginary hair around behind his lover's ear and gazes deeply into brilliant blue eyes.

<<Show me my love. We will see what the blocks are made of, be they brick or diamond.>>
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer feels his lover's eyes on him and then turns to meet that gaze. The imaginary tuck of hair behind his ear gains a soft smile, but those words in his head turn a key to a lock that only Nathaniel has. To traverse inside the Devil's mind take a brave soul indeed. The balcony of the Penthouse begins to change, withering away into something dark. Cold. The Devil stands there with Nathaniel - because they are no longer sitting within his mind. "Now you know my secret. My mind is a vast void of empty..." He quips.

Yet there, just off in the distance of black, there is a ghostly gray image of Lucifer Morningstar. The surroundings melt like draining tar into a scene of elegance. A grand hall with pillars and many different pantheons alinging the wall. Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Christian...they all seem represented here. The ghostly image of Lucifer seems to be...talking? Yelling? Perhaps arguing or...pleading? There's no real way to tell with the vision being as it is...

And then suddenly they're pulled out as Lucifer breaks the contact, shaking his head. "...Sorry. Sorry. I...that was weird...it's like my mind wanted to reject your presence there." He sighs. "Try again later?"
Sinister has posed:
The transfer of consciousness into another's mind is always jarring. If a little, if a lot, Sin is a skilled enough telepath not to let it show much. A reddish glow illuminates his outline within the mind and he is his most Sinister face.

But you can't get the black sense of humour out of the Brit.

"Well, one might imagine there'd be more shelves in the void..." Sinister comments rather drolly to the inference of Lucifer's joke. "This could get interesting..." but only if it's allowed to be played with and the sudden, sharp rejection has his mind reinforcing itself and Lucifer's consciousness too, because that can be very jarring indeed.

"Alright. But I am holding you to that. I'm going to find my focii crystal. I think I shall need it." And possibly assistance, though he does not make mention of that.

        ~~SOME TIME LATER~~

There are crystals. There are several of them and at LEAST one perfectly prismatic ruby quartz. There may also have been deep mindfulness to remove extraneous static. And there may have been a text.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
There may have been a text. There may have been a phone that beeped. And there may have been a person who read the message. But that doesn't necessarily mean that this person followed through on such a message of short not-

The elevator doors slide open revealing a Nick. Very much dressed down in attire that is sufficient for keeping the wearer warm.

Pale eyes look to the crystals spread about and then to the source of the message recieved. "I'm getting the general sense that the text messages are purposefully vague so I'm less likely to decline up front. What is going on?"
Lucifer has posed:
"I think that all depends on where you wanted to end up at..." Lucifer says this and then shrugs his shoulders. Then there was trying again later. And Nathaniel actually saying he was going to hold the Devil to something. Which means...he's going to hold Lucifer to his words.

And there will be crystals.

Then there ARE crystals.

"It looks like a new age store just threw up it's entire back stock into our living room..." And then there's another voice, and he glances up and smirks. "Oh. Hello Nick. I wasn't expecting company..." A pause. "Not that I mind. It's always good to see you, Nick."
Sinister has posed:
"You might be onto something there," Sinister's voice is quiet and as calm as he looks. He's actually hovering in the lotus position, with his eyes closed. The crystals are not, mercifully. At least not -yet-. The ruby quartz he clasps in his laced palms, balanced so the point is heavenward. "Lucifer has a blockage in his mind -- it relates to the powerful beings some call the gods. It isn't entirely unusual for such things to exist, but nor is it normal for that to happen and given the coming days, we cannot have one player with a psychic block in his head."

But then, he lifts the quartz. "You know, you jest. But this is the psychic equivalent of a booster signal meets a battery, meets a computer. In every computer, there are silicone crystals - they resonate to electricity. The mind is a force unto itself, which may be focused, dilated, or harness and magnified."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick looks over to Lucifer as he explains the surprise to his arrival. Brow lifting, he looks back over to Sinister. "You didn't even give him warning? Ok even if the crystals weren't a giveaway, something is definitely up."

The musician quiets as Sinister offers up the explanation. To the mention of those being called 'The gods' He looks curioues, "...Are we talking Thor, Loki, Phobos, Poseidon..." He pauses, "Ok that's it for the ones I know of hanging out near the New York area."

Now if they were to go with people who are self claiming, then they'd be here all day.

The musician considers the reason why he might be asked over for this. "...Are you planning to have him take a nap?"
Lucifer has posed:
"It all started because we were going over a book I remembered I had that was written by an astrologer from Ancient Egypt. Long story short, we were coming up with ways we could try and figure out where the stones that were written about are... cause at this point they'd be under layers of sand if they weren't preserved somehow..." Lucifer begins explaining. "So I started to think about the Egyptian pantheon... which then made me think I had spoken to them before... and then I couldn't remember. About that conversation which Nathaniel remembers I had but nothing comes to mind for me... so...et voila..."

He then glances around to see if there's a pattern of anything on the floor made up by the crystals. "Good question Nick. Am I supposed to lie down somewhere or something?"
Sinister has posed:
"No, not precisely: Lesson the first. When I am charged --" the crystal in his palm goes vivid red, like his eyes and the ruby in his forehead -- and then like a laser, that light connects all the crystals arrayed around Sinister in a circuit.

<<I can bring minds to a trance-like state. In this state, the dream and waking reality are blurred. The mind is a powerful thing.>>

Lux is there of course, the Penthouse and all besides, but the world away from the tower, falls completely into black and turbid, swirling colours. Red and silver energy crackle through clouds of the unformed. Thoughts perhaps. Raw dream fodder, maybe. Can these figments be crafted?

Yet the walls of the penthouse are vivid, bright. Illuminated even, as if they are a barrier against the raw unformed chaos of the mind.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
When the response is given, it ends up causing Nick more questions. If he's not needed then why did he text hi-?

If the thought gets completed that's up in the air. As Sin pushed his ability out, something recoiled and a silence forms.

Nick glances about. Eyes peer towards the window for a few moments before looking back to Sinister and Lucifer. "...Okay then." Nick walks over to a nearby puffy chair, lowering his butt onto the cushion. "Probably a sit down for this thing."

Blink. Blink.


Lucifer has posed:
The clouds begin to fade into coils of smoke that then dissipate into what forms a hallway. In the middle of the Lux Penthouse, but also -not- within the Penthouse. Lucifer's mind has opened up a bit more. The hallway is like the one Nathaniel say briefly only this time the walls are covered with paintings of various angels. Azrael, Azazel, Uriel, Raphael, Michael, and some others who are known but not yet named...brethren to Lucifer all the same.

"Who does he think he is? Abdacating the Throne of Hell... like he's above the words of Father..." ... "Amounting to nothing but a failure. Galavanting around, parading himself like he's a god among men...nothing more than a devil in disguise..." ... "Shell of himself really. Pathetic. Egotistical. A complete Man-child..." ...

The voices are only able to be discerned as different from one another, but who is saying what cannot really be deciphered. All words in Lucifer's head. Perhaps his inner most fears of what people or even his brethren truly think about him?

The hallway continues on like it could take an eternity to go down, the end of it shrouded in blackness unpenetrable by light. More paintings on the walls. Of Dracula. Loki. Nick Drago. Nathaniel Essex. Voices some again but they - in the moment - are nothing but a cacophony of harsh whispers. Then, in the middle of the hallway, perhaps searching for the end...or trying to get away from it..is Lucifer. Or at least, a memory form of him. In a state that he never lets anyone ever see him in.

The Devil is -afraid-.
Sinister has posed:
"A seat may be essential, all things considered." - Sinister says this quietly, then stands up from himself where he hovered in the lotus position. The circuit of psychic energy persists, but the astral form projects outward, tracking the shape of the formlessness, as it almost but never quite solidifies. This way and that, until...

THe mind that they're in finally uses what is there. "And this is where telepathy meets the psychometrics of your talent, Nick." Red eyes look to the Phantasm. "Those are subconscious inklings - I am making the underneath more solid."

The actual Sin's hands leave the crystal hovering as the prime focii, turning palms to the floor.

"We do not want his ID to take the initiative."

A look along the hall of endless criticisms, face after face, then back to Nick. "You can do this. You can help. Trust me."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick has sat down. And yet here he is standing. And soon walking down a hallway. Gone is the knit cap, the second hand clothes instead he has a bit more of the wild haired presence of his stage persona. He glances about for a few moments before doing a slight hop, not quite landing back on the floor as he comes to a stop.

Nick tilts his head down. "...Very much like a dream." He comments, "...Strange introduced me to something similar. But-" He pauses, shaking his head as he continues down. Looking back to the criticism. Lips clench shut as he walks alongside Sinister.
Lucifer has posed:
There isn't any telling where Lucifer, the actual Lucifer, is right now. Standing off to the side? Laying on the floor? Collapsing like flan in a cupboard? No one will know at this point.

The Lucifer that -is- present, looks up and around at all the faces peering down at him from each of the paintings. They're all scowling at him, judging him. He should be used to it! He's judged all the time! Evil doer. Master of Lies. Serpent of Temptation. Satan. Beelzebub. So many names for a man who proudly wears only one of them.

"Find a way to end Sinister and bring them pain." .... "Those who prey on the weak. I want to stop them." .... "You play a dangerous game, Lucifer, make sure you appreciate the ending, whatever it may be." .... "What's your name?" .. "Lucifer." .. "Like the Devil?!" .. "Exactly." ... ... ...

As if suddenly aware of others, Dream-Lucifer turns to look upon those who approach. "N-No..no.. stay back! You can't...be here...!"
Sinister has posed:
Sinister's actual self's head jerks up and his eyes open, staring like blazing hot coals into the ether. His astral self looks at his own hands, rapidly clad in black gloves, the change in the surface of skin accelerating until he is clad in black living leathers and biosteel, the 'serpents' of his cloak winnowing here and there, sniffing at the host around them and then to the portraits replaying how to take the worst possible understanding, because...

Self esteem is hard earned, sometimes an illusion.

"Ohhh, when it was all pinned on you, that's a very singular position to be in."

He glances at Nick, looking over the man's form briefly and up to the black nothingness above, where the light doesn't touch. Back down, focused, silent.

He simply holds his hand out to the Devil, palm up in invite.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick slows his steps to the response given by the Dream Lucifer. The steps come to a stop. Turning his head, he looks over to the critics. A whole choir of criticism. "HEY! GIVE THE GUY A BREATHER AND FUCK OFF!"

Message sent, Nick turns back to look over to Lucifer, giving a bright smile. "Hey Lucifer. Hope you don't mind us popping in for a visit."
Lucifer has posed:
The paintings. ALL OF THEM. Turn their eyes to Nick who suddenly yelled at them all. It takes a moment, a long moment of soul-deep staring, before suddenly one by one the paintings begin to turn to sinister images of what they once were. Misplaced features, twisted colors, as if all the horrors they were keeping inside have now surfaced to the top.

Dream-Lucifer was all about reaching for Nathaniel's hand when it's offered, until the paintings begin to go disfigured and misshapen. "N-no..no no... wait... please..." And instead of taking the hand of Nathaniel, he scrambles to one of the closer paintings and begins to tap at it but all that does any good for is just smearing the image that much more.

The voices begin again, but they are all a mish-mash of sounds that go distorted and near violent. Lucifer soon turns back towards Nathaniel and Nick, his eyes wide and ever full of fear and disdain.

Should anyone happen to look at Dream-Lucifer's hands, they appear to be covered not with paint...but blood.
Sinister has posed:
All the little details -- warped and dissolved before his eyes, melted into filth and decay. Blood on his hands, a million and one screams and shouts, a cacophony of...

"Shush," a cursive gesture is made by Sinister, cutting the air with a 'beak' movement of fingers and thumb as if pinching shut the windbag.

Does it achieve much? Well, it doesn't shut it all out, but it does turn the volume down by several 'bars' on the remote, so to speak. Once again, his other hand is held out, palm up to Lucifer, in invite.

"Nick, emotionally speaking, would you say that Luci's mind is listening much right now? And if it's not, would you mind perhaps whistling to the consciousness a bit?"
Lucifer has posed:
The noises do diminish quite a bit. Almost becoming background noice. Ambiance at best. Dream-Lucifer looks around a moment and then back to Nathaniel with that hand outstretched and for a moment he seems to hesitate...

Then, finally, a hand reaches out and places itself into Nathaniel's own. It's no longer covered in blood, but the paintings begin to drip as if they're melting. The ambiance goes all distorted and Dream-Lucifer tightens his grip on Nathaniel's hand just so.

"...Don't leave me..." He whispers. "Don't let me go..." Another plea. He looks distracted, distraught, and almost like he's fighting himself between staying and running.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister lets Phantom Nick work things out, if it's even possible to do. Meanwhile, he watches the hesitation melt to repidation, followed hot by the lost puppy of anguish. His free hand reaches forth to guide the distracted and distraught Lucifer to looking at him, a little pivot of the chin with the contact of fingers. Then he nods to their joined hands, which now are handfasted securely. "Never," he replies and pulls the Devil closer to himself, taller than everyone else here and with the cloak wending around to bring in tighter also.

The paintings are eyed and once the wary and world weary expression of fear is in his arms, he reaches out for the nearest one and concentrates with little twists and turns of his fingers, separating the mind-form back to a representation of what it had been. And with the FOCUS so vividly on it, bringing whatever subconscious foible it happens to be, into more stark contrast.

"Right. If you would be so helpful and believe me when I say I would be quite /delighted/ if you were not..." he inhales "...what in the blue blazes are you supposed to be doing in his psyche? You've got to have a purpose. Come come. Fess up..."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
"If he wasn't listening, they wouldn't have reacted to what I was saying." Nick comments, glancing to the paintings before looking back to Lucifer. The musician steps over. "His world, and even if he's not aware of it, ultimately his control-"

The musician pauses, glancing around, and then looking to the painting Sinister's trying to manipulate. "...usually. Barring outside visitors and roommates of course."

Another glance is given to the paintings, including the melty versions of him and Sinister and then over to Lucifer. "...I might not know what it is like for you exactly. But I can glean a little bit off of what I'm seeing and other things. I might still come to the wrong conclusion..." He moves over. Taking a seat. On what, it's not certain but he's sitting at bar stool's height next to Lucifer. Nick tilts forward, palms resting upon the nothingness his upper legs have perched upon. But he doesn't look.

"Looking and listening to this corridor of critique, It feels like when it comes to yourself, you're going out of your way to put yourself in a bad light. Which, is somewhat a form of lying. And we know you don't like that. So... why don't we outline a few good things about you before we continue? For starters. Before Ireland I would say you're a good friend. After, well, also a pretty cool uncle. Considering my luck with family for awhile the news does come as a welcome surprise."
Lucifer has posed:
"You cannot begin to understand..." Comes a voice from everywhere and nowhere. The drippings from the paintings pooling onto the floor faster now, even as Nathaniel attempts to stop one of the paintings from melting.

"He is losing. Everything around him. Falling apart. A lover that wants to die. A nephew that wants to rid the world of ... well ... suppose THAT idea isn't such a bad one..." The pooling liquid soon coagulates upwards into a dark and dripping shape that appears - roughly - like a Lucifer form.

"And when he loses everything he has worked so hard to keep these last few solar revolutions...we will finally take back our throne...where the Devil belongs. Where he never should had left..."

The figure turns...if one could call it turning...to face the sitting Nick. "Samael is friend to no one...no one but himself...a prideful, jealous, selfish creature...who will always continue to fall."
Sinister has posed:
"Ohhh, for the love of Pete," Sinister murmurs that mostly to himself, looking blandly over the top of Lucifer's head, the one that's in his arms anyway. He tips an ear to Nick's words, gently tickling the devil's side as a kind of encouragement for him to listen, then all but enfolds him further in protective Sinister embrace.

Oxymoron though that is.

"The throne doesn't need him on it, he can phone it in. He's been doing that for a while and I'm not suicidal. I'm angry at part of my creation that has decided it doesn't need -me- any more. Funnily enough, a bit like this scenario here. He doesn't -need- you any more. And that bites, I'd wager."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
"Besides, If you're looking for prideful, jealous, and selfish. Maybe you should speak to his brother." Nick adds in, gesturing to the frame that once held Michael's portrait. "And did I say 'rid'? I'm sure that voice over back there said 'stop'. Different potential approaches."

The musician's eyes narrow, "And who that has actually LIVED gone through life without taking a tumble here and there? There's plenty of valleys and summits. And being that he lives longer, of COURSE it's going to have low points. But you don't get to see the view if you just stay there. You start climbing again."
Lucifer has posed:
The goop collects itself from all the paintings it used itself for and attempts to rise above the three of them, giving a gurgling cackle. "The throne will ALWAYS need someone upon it and he KNOWS this!" Almost as if it cannot believe it's being argued with. By logic even!

Dream-Lucifer begins to shimmer a bit while continuing to hold onto Nathaniel's hand. But the eyes that look into Nathaniel's own are beginning to brim with more life, as if the dream and the reality are finally combining themselves together. "Let's end this shall we?" The shimmering continues, getting brighter and brighter. Because, lets face it, he's Lucifer Fucking Morningstar. It's going to get bright.

He then turns and faces the goopy monster, shining his brightness in the way of the grossly drippy figure. "I demand to know who DARES to come into MY mind and try to twist it around like it's putty..."
Sinister has posed:
Red eyes sparkle when the light starts to shine again, chased up from the depths of the underneath. "/There/ he is. The Lightbringer," murmurs Sin, a smile that's all kinds of proud and just a little wicked, gracing the edges of his mouth. He lets his cloak unfurl and winnow its way behind him as the light intensifies. "Nick, you sometimes know exactly -the- right words to say."

And the grin shot to the Phantasm is all but gleeful.

In the real world version of Sin, the telepath brings both palms up from 'holding down the floor' making claws of both as he brings then about to form a cage around the glowing ruby quartz. His inner eye is wholely focused on that and the scene here. If any had the power to sense psychic energy it's building its gestalt to a maximum here.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick tilts his head. "Why?" He asks, as the goop tries to rise, so does Nick as the invisible seat apparently has the hydraulic lift action of a barber's chair. He props his chin upon a thumb, the rest of the finger curling in front as he gives a thoughtful look."Is there something attached to the throne? Is it rigged with pressure plates? And why are you so invested in the positioning of his ass?"

While Nick is not noted for being one that senses power on a consistent basis, dreams do not have a tendency to follow rules. And from the sensibilities of what can be considered of dream, Nick has a general sense he should not be sitting between Blobby the accuser and Lucinister. Giving a cheeky smile, his hands lower, hitting something to launch himself out of the unseen chair. Giving the others a clear shot of whatever it is they need to do.
Lucifer has posed:
The bright flash of light that pushes off Lucifer engulfs the tall goopy drippy creature and then swirls. The light and the goop mixing together, swirling faster and faster until it *pops!* and in it's wake there is a figure of similar feature to Lucifer but...definitely NOT Lucifer.

Michael the Archangel stands there. No more gimmicks or visages, no more masks. And he glares. "You have the most MEDDLING cretins and PATHETIC excuses for friends and lovers I have ever known to exist on the Earth. I would have gotten you back into Hell if it weren't for them..." He spits out the words.

Lucifer begins to step forward. "Of all the low blows any of you from above could give me... THIS is what I get? And for what? So you could feel good about yourself for once?"
Sinister has posed:
In the real world, once again there is a smile on the face of Sinister, though his gaze remains on the middle distance, rather looking straight through Lucifer to the Inside. The lab door opens, sounds of jars clinking can be heard and a madagascar hissing cockroach is brought out in a little jar, then is all but wriggling its little legs in the air as it's floated out and a tiny 'blip' of red energy shoots from the Diamond in Sin's forehead, to the cockroach's tiny brainspace. Link established.

Even if this is only a fragment of the actual Michael, this is going to be so...fun. At least for a little while. It may come back to bite, but this is not a concern -in this moment-.

"Michael. I never -did- thank you for impersonating Lucifer so awfully. You did have me doubting for a moment though, so victory in that. But I have to say, you never managed to grasp the Virtues did you? No matter what you are." He waves away the thought, a trivial thing, an insect even. "But maybe even old and bitter dogs can learn new tricks. Hmm?" He flicks that hand out toward Michael. BLIP. Tiny red dot on the Archangel's forehead, right between the eyes. Like a laser sight. "Bye bye. See you when you've had some time to /repent/ on all your travesties and trespasses. Or at the very least until you've worked a thing or two out."

You can't hurt angels without heavenly weaponry or hellish steel. But you can really peeve them off for a while at least. Or remind that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

A wrist flourish and he flings his hand sideways, taking Michael for a ride. Along a link. Through a crystal in a forehead, to a one in palm and then, down that link to a red blob on the back of a bug's head.

Oh, but he's beaming like a bloody lighthouse now.
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
As Michael shows himself, the musician sighs from his perch of a nearby wall.

Ok technically he's standing on the wall.

Folding his arms he shakes his head. "You know, I was kind of hoping that this wasn't you. " Mike comments, "But. After the last visit, I can't say that I'm surprised. Or angry." He frowns. "I'm just-."

And then Michael blips out.

"...Ok yes that checks out."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer watches this all happen, and then slowly the dream begins to fade. With Michael out of the picture, there's nothing more to really hold this image into place since that was Michael's doing as well.

Lucifer then turns back to look at Nathaniel and Nick, giving them both a smile that soon turns sheepish and then to a frown. "He's been in there a while. I don't even know how it happened...or when exactly it did. But just this... nagging in the back of my mind. Then I tried to remember something and I must have found where he was hiding. One place he thought I wouldn't go poking around perhaps? I do not know. For what it's worth... I am sorry you both had to witness...all that."
Sinister has posed:
The gem in Sin's forehead finally stops glowing when the two psychic travellers are summarily ejected. He unfolds his legs, coming to rest feet on the floor at last and dismisses the crystals to a neat briefcase with foam inlays to house them all. Then he looks from Lucifer to the cockroach.

"Excuse me a moment, I have to put Mickey here on a strict healthy diet, get his habitat in order and feed him a microdose of antidepressants. We don't want him dying before his time..."

He isn't gone far though, calling back "...I suspect the night you punched him in the jaw."
Phantasm (Drago) has posed:
Nick looks over to Lucifer from the comfort of the poofy not-a-throne chair. Relaxing, he starts to look over to the bug being herded.

Did he jus-?

You ever get the feeling you're severely outclassed in everything? Yeah. It's that sense.

Ah well.

But still the stuff Lucifer just had to deal with. And now he's apologizing for it.

Thoughts of a conversation with Lucius comes to mind. Several people really but the shelter owner was definitely most recent.

"It's not your fault." Nick points out. "You don't need to apologize for what someone did to you."

Hearing Sinister's suggestion for the potential when, Nick nods. "Yeah, that seems a good bet." He pauses, "...Does that mean he's been listening in on everything since then?"
Lucifer has posed:
"Likely. Listening in and using it all as fodder to make me doubt myself more and more.. to make me feel..." Lucifer stops himself, waves a hand.

"It's been a long day, and I would love some time contemplating the inside of my OWN eyelids..." He says this much and then smiles towards Nick. "Course you can have the pullout, or go downstairs if you wish... and, of course, thank you for answering Nathaniel's call.."

A glance to the direction Nathaniel went to. "Come on! There's a huge bed calling our names and I don't wanna be in it alone for too long!"